By: Angie Smibert
Publisher: Skyscape (Amazon Children’s Publishing)
Publication Date: August 2013
Reviewed by: Amy Lignor
Review Date: July 28, 2013
The subject of youth rebellion has appeared as the plot in many YA books over the past few years. But this one series has most certainly gone beyond the same-old, same-old when it comes to the subject. Not since the extremely popular Maze Runner series has a plot been so intense.
For those who are unaware, Books I and II introduced readers to an array of characters who were beyond intelligent. They have each gone through something tragic, with a loss in their backgrounds that range from a parent to a home to their own memories. But when these friends come together they can literally overpower the evil people who are trying to control others by putting a chip into each person’s head.
The combination of government and police are using fear to make people conform. And these chips are a way to make sure people forget bad things, and insert new ‘happy’ memories of things that never happened.
This group of friends, however, were smart enough to find a way around the chip. Broadcasting a concert, they were able to embed a signal that erased the chip’s effects.
As we open on the grand finale of this series, a radio is playing that tells all listeners that summer is over, school is starting, and the evil Mayor is running for election. With a company called TFC, the Mayor and his so-called Patriot Party uses mind control tactics to hack a person’s brain. If you know the wrong thing, a black van simply pulls up, takes you to the Big D (which is a detention facility), and then gives you a pill so you can happily forget everything you shouldn’t know and go on your way.
Micah Wallenberg has just finished his community service and is headed home when he sees a very strange sight. A cardboard coffin procession is walking down the street toward the Big D. On one of the coffins is carved Jonas W. (his father’s name). Suddenly an explosion occurs and a strange thought enters Micah’s mind: 'Did his father betray his country?'
Velvet is a girl who’s sick of knocking on doors in support of the Mayor when she’s working for the other side. Add in Winter, Nora, Aiden, Spike - all of these friends who are standing together to stop the tyranny, and you have a story that is out of this world cool.
Although this is a series, Book III is stand-alone simply because the author has done a great job catching people up on all the action that’s already occurred. The one thing that will constantly be running through your head, however, is how easily a government could do something like this if they really wanted to. After all, we are in the digital age…
Quill says: Exhilarating and intense. The author weaves feel-good fiction with suspense to give readers a triumphant victory.